Diabetes mellitus is a disease that affects numerous people every year, but people may not realize that it is also common in animals like cats and dogs. The number of diabetic animals is surprisingly increasing.
Diabetes is a disorder of carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism caused by an insulin deficiency. Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas which helps proteins break down into glucose. Glucose is a type of sugar and one of the body’s main sources of energy.
There are two types of Diabetes. Type I Diabetes is where the pancreas is not producing insulin. Type II Diabetes is where the pancreas is producing an insufficient amount of insulin or the insulin that is being produced is not effective. Both Type I and Type II will prevent the muscles and organs from converting glucose to energy and the animal will have an excessive amount of glucose in the blood.
The symptoms of diabetes in animals may vary between animals. Some common symptoms are:
- Excessive thirst
- Increase urination
- Weight loss
- Lack of energy
- Muscle wasting
- Thinning, dry, or dull hair
An accurate diagnosis of diabetes must be done by a veterinarian. The veterinarians at Village Veterinary Hospital will collect blood and urine from your dog or cat to check for elevated glucose.
There are ways to treat and monitor your animal’s diabetes. The treatment of diabetes in animals consists of diet, exercise and insulin injections. The diet our doctors recommend is Hill’s Science Diet- Glucose Management. Our doctors will talk to you about an exercise plan. Most diabetic animals will require daily injections of insulin under the skin to manage diabetes.
You have a primary role in your diabetics animals care and your commitment to keep up with monitoring and daily injections is extremely important. If you have any questions, please contact us at 505-869-2627. We will be glad to discuss your pet’s symptoms with you and make an appointment for your pet.